Devilishly handsome actor Ralph Feinnes, who packed on pounds for his role in Schindler's List, followed this plan and said it helped him keep his energy level high enough to survive his grueling, eight-times-a-week performances of Hamlet. The word "diet" in the title may be a bit misleading, as it's more of a blood sugar-regulating eating schedule; once blood sugar is normalized, says author Adele Puhn, cravings soon dissipate, and that helps excess pounds fall off almost by themselves. It's not a five-day diet, either, as the title implies; rather, that's the amount of time it takes to get your blood sugar fully normalized.
Puhn, who has a master's degree in medical biology and has been certified as a nutritional specialist by the American College of Nutrition, has 20 years of experience working with this diet. She says that timing is the key. Each day, there's a mandatory snack within two hours of breakfast, and two more snacks in the afternoon. There are a few no-no foods that would cause a rush of blood sugar (no pasta for lunch, no plain bagels for breakfast, no grapes for snacks), but other than that, the program is remarkably simple. Puhn says that losing weight is 75 percent physiological (cravings sabotaging your efforts) and 25 percent psychological, such as when your inner "fathead" says you have to have that piece of chocolate birthday cake or you'll hurt Aunt Fanny's feelings. The 5 Day Miracle Diet shows you how to conquer both of these forces, leading to weight loss, improvements in energy, and decreases in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. While its advice may be unusual (vegetables or turkey get the okay for breakfast), its message is clearly sane. It's "not about never eating certain things again. It's about learning how to live harmoniously with your food."
From Publishers Weekly
At half the length, this would have been an excellent guide to training away your cravings and losing weight, but redundancies and fillers add inappropriate padding. The basic point is as follows: if your blood sugar bottoms out, you start to have cravings, while at the same time you've become too tired and cranky to stand firm against them. Puhn, a certified nutrition specialist, recommends a starch and protein breakfast (starch breaks down quickly, protein slowly); and vegetables and proteins for lunch and dinner. More importantly, Puhn recommends snacking twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon on what she calls "Hard Chew" or "Soft Chew" snacks (apple or cantaloupe) in order to keep in "Good Blood Sugar" or GBS. With examples and sample menus, she outlines daily eating plans. Recognizing that not everyone is the same, she makes allowances for occasional indulgences and smartly helps tailor the program to vegetarians and to the insulin-resistant and carbo addicts. She also makes a cogent case against "Lite" foods (which often make up for low fat by high sugar or high salt). But jargon ("the fathead factor") and peppy patter ( "You call this a diet? I call it a dream come true") make this sensible, practical program hard to swallow.
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Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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